Getting Hooked on Amigurumi

crochet hook amigurumiAmigurumi Crochet Hook via Nerdigurumi

Amigurumi is the Japanese craft of making animals and anthropomorphic objects out of crochet. The sculptural capabilities of crochet has drawn many artists to the medium. Today we’ll be looking at some traditional crocheted creations and a few examples of artists who have used crochet and amigurumi to create tactile and sometimes subversive works of art.

adorable mamma and baby amigurumi via tournicote... a cloche piedimage via Tournicote….a cloche pied

Cuteness is one of the most prevalent attributes of amigurumi, and there is certainly plenty of it to spare in this doll duo. Although amigurumi originated in Japan it has spread all over the world; these dolls were made by French doll and crochet artist Lisenn Cabane.

collection of crocheted pearscrochet pears pattern via salihan

Food is a common subject for amigurumi, people have stitched everything from sushi to happy meals. These pears would be an easy first project for anyone starting amigurumi, and I love how much charm they have with their broad smiles.

Amigurumi Toy DesignAmigurumi Toy Design by Chity Soy Yo

Chity Soy Yo is an amigurumi designer who creates friendly-looking toy sculptures that look like they would be perfectly at home in a Studio Ghibli film. I find it amazing how such simple shapes can have so much personality with the right facial expressions and details.

Nathan Vincent's amigurumi taxidermiNathan Vincent

Combining taxidermy and amigurumi, Nathan Vincent creates textile sculptures that are touchable, but also slightly unsettling. Along with these amazing animals, Vincent has also fashioned gas masks, guns and lawnmowers using stitchery, all of which can be seen on his site.

boobs and dinks by Shannon Gerrardboobs and dinks exhibition by Shannon Gerrard

Toronto artist and craftster Shannon Gerrard created these anatomical crochet sculptures as teaching aids to promote early detection of cancer; inside these miniature body parts are small ‘lumps’ that can be found through careful checking.

sculpture by Shawna RichardsonSculpture by Shauna Richardson via Juxtapoz

You are looking at the world’s largest crochet sculpture, made by Shauna Richardson. This lion is one of three that she made out of a mountain of wool for her project Lionheart. You can find out more about Richardson and her work here.

Once you’ve mastered a few crochet stitches you can create anything your imagination can dream up. All you need is a couple crochet hooks, yarn and some stuffing. Two great tutorials I’ve found for creating basic amigurumi shapes can be found here and here. There are places online where you can find free patterns but some of the best patterns can be found in Japanese craft books.

Happy Friday Everyone!

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